Jared Padalecki Talks Sam, Sports and More Seasons of Supernatural at Nashcon
Jared Padalecki’s Q & A at Creation’s Supernatural convention last weekend was set up a bit differently – by the time we crowded into the small room, Jared was already seated at a large round table, with ten lucky fans joining him. The other ten of us crowded around or pulled up a chair, and the conversation was at times almost like a rowdy dinner party, with fans and Jared all laughing and talking at once.
To the surprise of no one, when we joined the conversation in progress, Jared was talking football. He and Gen had recently gone to see the Giants play the Cowboys on New Years, and for the first time he felt the game was so miserable that they actually left. He still sounded pretty disappointed, and the gathered fans gave him a lot of sympathy. The boys were flying back to Vancouver and missing the Super Bowl that evening, so fans wondered how they were dealing with that logistical quandary.
Jared: I’m TIVOing the game, and I’m gonna turn my phone off. Inevitably, it will be the time I’m walking through the airport and I look up at the monitor and I’ll see the score! Luckily I’m flying to Canada so it will probably be the hockey scores though. It’s all hockey all the time – it will be like ‘Tom Brady and the Patriots at the Super Bowl….and in other news, at Vancouver Canucks practice…’
Jared loves his football, that much is clear – and kind of adorable.
Jared: I went to the very last game at Texas Stadium, I was sick as a dog, it was during Season 4, and I flew straight from Vancouver. They were about to demolish the stadium, so they had all the Hall of Fame players there, Emmitt Smith, any Hall of Famer Cowboy, and it was a big deal after the game, they all met at the 50 yard line. But even the guys who had just retired, they were like so hurt, they were like (at this point Jared jumped up and acted the part of a limping beaten up player, much to the amusement of the fans). I mean, you get the biggest guys you know, have them stand like this far apart, and then run as fast as they can at each other, and that’s what it feels like.
Fans: *wincing* Ouch.
The next question started out with “As a librarian….”
Jared: I’m not a librarian.
Fan: I know that!
She then asked a question about what he was reading and what he reads on his ipad as opposed to an actual book.
Jared: Right now I’ve been reading a lot of baby stuff.
Fans: Awww. Are you nesting?
Jared: I am, and Gen is, and she’ll kill me for telling you this, but I will. We have a two bedroom apartment in Vancouver, and I get that her hormones are making sure that everything’s all right with the baby…but we have two dogs, Sadie and Indy, and dogs lose hair. So I came home one day and she was on her hands and knees in the bathroom with handfuls of paper towels and Oxiclean, and I was like ‘Gen baby, what are you doing? I’ll get it or I’ll call someone, but get off your hands and knees!’
Fans: Good plan!
Jared: It’s our plan to have a natural childbirth – I say ours like I’ll be doing something…
Room full of fangirls: Good point!
Jared: (laughing) But anyway, her mother did it and she’d like to do it. And Vicky (Misha Collins’ wife) did it, and she had a long labor, so we took their advice and we got this book, it’s called Hypnobirthing, not really hypnosis but more like centering and relaxing. So I’ve been walking around with this book and I was getting these funny looks so I’m like, okay, I’m gonna download this on my ipad and read it there! Right now in book form I’m re-reading Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, and Legacy of Ashes, about how the CIA hasn’t really been doing its job. I still do love books, but the ipad is good for flying. I download my scripts on it but I do kinda miss having books.
Most of the room seemed to agree.
Jared: We had our baby shower a month ago in LA and we had the people who came give us a quote for a baby book. Jason Manns is a big big Mark Twain fan, and his quote , which I love and will try not to bastardize, is “People who won’t read have no advantage over people who can’t read.”
Fans: (silently) Damn. Nothing hotter than a guy with brains.
Unless it’s a guy with a sense of humor. Apparently Jared has all of the above, not to mention …. Well, we probably don’t have to mention what else he has. You have eyes.
Jared: I’m gonna love my baby obviously, but babies are so funny looking, they’re kinda alien looking. My brother’s newest baby, Oliver, was two months old at Christmas and they sent out a Shutterfly card to all the family. I was showing it to one of the crew and he was like ‘Oh, I’ve seen that picture before,’ and he pulls out a picture of Admiral Ackbar from Star Wars. I ended up emailing it to my brother, like ‘hey, I found a picture of Oliver online.’
Fans: (laughing, most likely more than Jared’s brother did….)
Jared was already lamenting how fast the time flies – he arranged a little photo shoot when they were in Sun Valley with the photographer who shot their wedding, to immortalize Gen “with a little basketball in her belly”. They also wrote messages to their unborn son.
Jared: I really wanted to write ‘I’ll be really happy as long as you’re happy….and a Cowboys quarterback!’
Luckily reason (or Mrs. Padalecki) prevailed.
Fan: So tell us about Sam.
Jared: Sam isn’t doing too well. Episode 16 is usually where we start the final arc, but we added an extra episode so it’s episode 17 that we’re shooting now, and Sam’s been seeing “Luci” all this time and doing his hand bit.
At this point, Jared demonstrated Sam’s “hand bit”, noting that the mark was actually still there, and holding it up so we could all see.
Jared: They put it on with an alcohol base makeup so it doesn’t rinse off, and they put it on every day. So Sam does something where he can no longer ignore Luci, so Luci starts really torturing him.
Fan: Is it a challenge? Have you been throwing bits in that weren’t necessarily in the script to help us remember (that Sam’s hallucinating)?
Jared: It is, it feels like flexing your muscles again. I have been, because I don’t want to lose what we started, we’ve got this cool scary stuff going on with Lucifer. I never know what will make the cut and what won’t, and unfortunately that often doesn’t. Our writers write great stuff but they also write very optimistically, and there’s only 44 minutes of screen time and we film 50 minutes, which is great, there’s a lot of meat in there, but they have to chop bits here and there. Generally editing works that you have to get the lines in on camera, it’s one of those technique-y things you have to learn as you go along, to do the other stuff along with a line. So Luci isn’t letting Sam sleep, so Sam is losing his beans.
Fan: So Pellegrino is back?
Jared: He is – and Mark sends his love, he had to back out of the con because he was shooting til 1 am.
Jared explained that doing Nashcon was difficult, because there aren’t direct flights to Vancouver.
Jared: It doesn’t come from me and Jensen, it comes from our bosses. It’s in our contracts that we can’t take the last flight, even in LA we can’t, because if we miss it – if there’s an accident or a speeding ticket, you can’t call and say oh well. It’s not allowed.
He explained that he and Jensen are trying to play extra nice right now because they really want the Show to come back for another season.
Jared: A lot of shows that are getting good numbers and ratings, get cancelled because the actors just forgot and started going ‘well, we’re the boss’, but no, you’ve gotta make the show and if not, they’re gonna stop making the show.
We’re always impressed with both Jared and Jensen’s determination to avoid falling into the “I’m the actor, I’m the boss” trap, with both of them always spreading the credit around for the Show’s success. It was, frankly, wonderful to hear how invested they are in keeping the Show going and how much they’re still loving their characters.
Fan: There’s nothing like watching a show where you can tell the people making it are really enjoying it.
Jared: Like on the Wonder Years, where they had to do separate shots at the dinner table. But yeah, we do love the Show and we wanna keep on with it.
Fans were glad to hear it, and also happy to hear that the industry as a whole seems to be recognizing our boys’ incredible talent. Jared had just met with Bruce Willis about playing Willis’ son in the next Die Hard film.
Jared: Bruce liked me, but Warner Brothers would have had to promise I’d be clear through August, so…. But it’s nice to know they liked me, and they liked Jensen too. Bruce is having a baby in a month also.
Fan: Did you talk hypnobirthing with him?
Jared: No! He thought I was all ‘actiony’!
Fans: Well, duh!
Jared: By the way, I told Jensen about the hynobirthing thing, because he had a helluva time sleeping last night even though he was exhausted. Because it’s all about relaxation techniques. I’ve been sleeping like a baby – you breathe and you imagine steps and each step doubles your body weight, so I’ve been doing it in my trailer, because when we’re on location there’s all this ruckus, people are moving trucks, and if you’re not getting a lot of sleep, you wanna take a little 10 or 15 minute cat nap.
Fans: (are still imagining Jared and Jensen practicing the hypnobirthing relaxation thing….)
Fans then asked for the scoop about why Supernatural’s award for Best Drama wasn’t televised at the People’s Choice Awards, which was a big disappointment not only for fans, but for the cast and crew.
Jared: The flow of information from the PCAs to LA to The Powers That Be to the SPN office to Vancouver, it’s like that telephone game, it gets so discombobulated. PCA knows who the winners are, so they ask for a guarantee of appearance for the actors so they can start programming a schedule. And they didn’t get that clearance. Believe me, we would have liked to be there — for y’all guys to see the fruits of your efforts, and for the Show. It was nothing to do with Jim Michaels, Vancouver didn’t make the decision. The Powers That Be would have had to tell PCA that we were available, and they didn’t.
Apparently the new head of the CW, Mark Pedowicz, would have liked them to appear as well. He’s a big Supernatural fan himself. While they haven’t gotten word of an early pick up or any definitive news about renewal, Jared said he got a sense of things when he went to the Television Critics Association awards (for the aptly named Badass dudes of the CW panel). Apparently Pedowicz likes the show enough to have taken $25,000 in ads on SPN’s behalf in Variety.com, and was upset that it wasn’t made clearer that if the boys had been 100% cleared to have a night off, they would have been invited to appear. Time off on SPN, however, is hard to come by.
Jared: When I was getting married, I was like, I’m getting married on February 27, can I have some time off?
TPTB: We sure hope so.
Jared: It’s hard because, if we’re shooting at the Olympic Center and the two days of the year that are available are 2/25 and 2/26, then I’m gonna be flying down to my wedding the night before. If it was a show shot onstage it would be easy, but we’re on location. That can really mess with a shooting schedule. But if the PCA awards happen again next year, I’m sure we’ll be there.
Fans: (already warming up their voting fingers….)
Check back soon for the rest of our NashCon chats – with Kim Rhodes, Brian Buckley, and Misha Collins!